An IKEA Hack Book for the Romantic Home

Long time Romantic Homes friend and DIY contributor Elyse Major is at again, this time with a book for anyone who has a love affair with the design simplicity of furniture superstore IKEA. IKEA makeovers are a staple of the home decor world these days, and we’re delighted to have this resource full of hacks with shabby cottage appeal. From lampshades to pillow covers to bar carts, you’ll find many inspiring and beautiful ideas for ways to adapt IKEA products for your personal style.

We caught up with Elyse recently and asked her some questions about her new book (with co-author Charlotte Rivers), I Modify IKEA. Then click here to discover three projects from the book for you to try at home!

RH: Tell us about yourself and your experience with DIY projects.

Hello! I’m Elyse and I’ve been tinkering around with things for as long as I can remember. Slapping paint onto furniture, constructing curtains and pillow covers using Stitch Witchery, making something out of nothing; it all just started getting documented when I began my blog in 2008.

What gave you the idea to write this book?

The brilliant concept for this book was developed by the publisher. My co-author Charlotte Rivers and I were selected to design a series of projects and solicit contributors to do the same.

How long have you been modifying IKEA products? What was your first Ikea hack?

I’ve decorated furniture for a long time but my first “hacks” (let’s turn this bedside table into a bar cart) were for this book.

I Modify IKEA - cabinet

What was your biggest challenge in designing the projects in this book? How long have you been working on it?

The biggest challenge for me was to give my projects a more contemporary aesthetic, of course a few cottage-style pieces made the final cut! Another challenge was to present fresh ideas and not the usual round-up of hacks. The book had a very tight timeline, kind of fast and furious.

What is the most important skill a reader might need if they want to dive in with any of these projects?

I find that with any project — of any size– it’s best to let go of the notion of perfection. If I thought to myself: this must turn out flawless! I don’t think I’d ever begin. I try to relax, enjoy the process, and do my best; take a deep breath, play some music. Design styles such as Cottage, Shabby/Romantic, Coastal, Prairie, etc., all embrace imperfections so that takes some pressure off right there!

I Modify IKEA - bar cart

What is your favorite IKEA product?

The meatballs! Seriously, I’ve been a fan of IKEA for years and my home is filled with their furniture but I especially like the smaller things: glass plates and the ARV BROLLOP cake stand, dishtowels, and I never leave the store without a new set of 3 scissors, and a MALA paintbrush set (children’s department) — perfect for small projects.

For step-by-step instructions for these and many other projects,  check out I Modify IKEA at your local or online bookseller. 

Book cover of I Modify IKEA

elyse-majorAuthor Elyse (Press) Major has been featured in, developed original projects and written for many magazines. Her first two books Tinkered Treasures and Seaside Tinkered Treasures were released back-to-back in 2013 and 2014; and 50 Flatpack Hacks/I Modify IKEA (co-authored with Charlotte Rivers) was published in 2016. Additionally Elyse’s branding efforts are featured in the book Craft, Show & Sell/How to Show & Sell Your Crafts. Elyse has been a presenter at venues including the Country Living Fair, NY. Throughout her work she hopes to inspire others to enjoy making things without worries of perfection. Elyse lives in Rhode Island, U.S.A. with her husband and two sons. Find Elyse/tinkeredtreasures online at Blogger, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Author photo by Marisa Bettencourt.

Project photos courtesy Ulysses Press.










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